Over 2,300 corporate employees across various Disney businesses, including ABC, Pixar, and Marvel Studios, have reportedly signed a petition pushing back against CEO Bob Iger’s rigid return-to-office plan, which mandates a four-day-per-week requirement beginning March 1.
The employees argue that this requirement could have “unintended consequences” for the company, including the loss of “hard-to-replace talent and vulnerable communities,” according to the Washington Post.
“This policy will slow, or even reverse, our post-COVID recovery and growth by creating critical resource shortages and causing irreplaceable institutional knowledge loss,” the petition adds.
Prior to this change, employees were expected to work on-site for two or three days per week. Disney’s return-to-office plan is considered to be one of the strictest in the entertainment media sector. The mandate is part of Iger’s efforts to turn around the struggling company.
According to reports, the organizers of the petition have submitted the petition along with hundreds of testimonials from affected employees to upper management. Some employees have stated that they plan to resign if CEO Bob Iger implements the policy change, while others feel that the policy will leave them with no choice but to leave.
Many of the testimonials were provided by parents and individuals who identify as “neurodivergent,” citing conditions such as dyslexia, attention-deficit disorder, or autism.
The employees are calling for Iger to invest in remote work support for Disney’s staff while also promoting in-person events and networking opportunities to foster a positive work culture.
“Flexibility at Disney really felt like a fresh start,” the petition added. “Now it feels like we’re moving backwards.”
The Washington Post has attempted to obtain a comment from Disney regarding the petition.
CEO Bob Iger had announced the four-day-per-week requirement in January, shortly after returning for another term as Disney CEO.
“As you’ve heard me say many times, creativity is the heart and soul of who we are and what we do at Disney,” Iger said. “And in a creative business like ours, nothing can replace the ability to connect, observe, and create with peers that comes from being physically together, nor the opportunity to grow professionally by learning from leaders and mentors.”